Former Barcelona and AC Milan star Ronaldinho Gaucho flew out of Paraguay on Tuesday, August 25 hours after being declared a free man.
According to authorities in Paraguay, Ronaldinho left the Palmaroga Hotel in Asuncion on a private flight with his brother Roberto, who they were arrested with back in March over the use of fake passports.
On his Instagram, Ronaldinho thanked his lawyer, team and fans who stayed with him through the six-month process, posting a photo of himself and Carlos Gamarra, an ex- Paraguay defender.
The 40-year-old and his brother, also business manager Roberto Assis were arrested and held at Asunción Airport in March for trying to access Paraguay using fake passports.
Judge Gustavo Amarilla ruled Ronaldinho is free to travel after approving an agreement reached with state prosecutors through his defense.
He will, however, pay 90 million dollars in costs, which will eventually be given to charitable firms.
“He is free to travel to whatever country in the world he wants but he must inform us if he changes his permanent residence”, said judge Amarilla.
His brother Roberto is also a free man, however, now with a criminal record after he pleaded guilty to using a false document.
Prosecutors did not believe Ronaldinho was involved in the plan to create the fake passports but that his brother was fully aware.
Back in March, Ronaldinho’s lawyer said the duo were not aware the passports were fake, and that they could cause no harm to the State of Paraguay.
“They confessed that they used these false passports. But there was no harm done to the Paraguayan state. Roberto and Ronaldinho did not know that the passports were irregular. And they cooperated fully with authorities,” he told reporters.
Following being ruled a flight risk, Ronaldinho and his brother were detained in a Paraguayan jail, leaving room for investigations which under the State’s law, take six months.
He spent his 40th birthday behind bars.
In April, the former AC Milan and Barcelona star along with his brother were then moved from jail into house arrest after they paid $1.6 million in bail.
The Judge ruled the pair would be allowed to stay at the Palmaroga Hotel in Asuncion while they anticipated trial. They would also be allowed to receive visitors.